What happens when you take acres of abandoned farm fields and plant a forest on top of them? In spring 2013, scientists and volunteers planted 20,000 trees as part of a massive experiment known as BiodiversiTREE, at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland. Now starting its tenth year, the project has become the largest experiment on tree diversity and ecosystem function in North America. On April 19, join Smithsonian postdoc Rachel King and head technician Jamie Pullen for a trek through the project’s biggest discoveries, in an Earth Optimism webinar specifically made for Earth Week. They’ll reveal how diversity shapes how the forest works, from the soil to the canopy. They’ll also explore the ability of forests to withstand the uncertainties of blights and climate change, and how diversity can shape the hidden life that depends on forests. Finally, they will reveal what’s in store for the project over the next century.

This webinar will be recorded! By signing up on Zoom, you’ll be able to watch the live event and receive a link to the recording a few days after it airs. Closed captioning will be available at the live webinar and on the recording. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center’s Earth Optimism lecture series airs live on Zoom every third Tuesday of the month at 7pm Eastern, from January through October.

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